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For the past few seasons the Arsenal team had no one who had won a trophy in their careers – at least recently – which must have been some sort of record, especially for a club of Arsenal’s stature.
No one can expect to win anything when the players in the team have never tasted the success of winning, and therefore do not know what it takes to win a trophy. But in Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla there is a massive change possible, and if Nuri Sahin joins, Arsenal stands a chance.
Giroud has just won the French league against pretty great odds while being a key player with his goals. By all accounts, the Frenchman is an old-fashioned penalty-box striker. This fact could suit Arsenal because, funnily enough, Arsene Wenger’s team has recently been one that gets plenty of crosses into the box through Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy, and now Kieran Gibbs or Andre Santos.
Podolski is a German international and that says it all. He brings a naturally engrained winning mentality. He is vastly experienced, even though he is still young, and he is more direct than other players. He too is talented and technical, but he is driven towards the final product – winning and getting the ball into the net. This is not necessarily the case withTheoWalcott or Robin van Persie, for example, players who like to make things look stylish and are more elaborate.
Cazorla could represent Arsenal’s most influential signing since Gilberto Silva. He is world-class; a premier player. Only 27, he has already achieved plenty, primarily with Spain, and also holds a winning mentality. He is a quality soccer player too, consistently superb at set-pieces – something Arsenal have not really had since Thierry Henry – and is a leader on the pitch as well.
Nuri Sahin would be a final piece. He would be coming from Real Madrid, a team of winners and expectation; so he would therefore be coming from good traditions and habits. He would represent a vast improvement on Alex Song, even if the defensive role is not his most natural position.
Potentially, a midfield of Sahin, Mikel Arteta and Cazorla would shine, all of whom are disciplined, educated soccer players. With Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey also in the mix, Arsenal would no doubt have the finest midfield group in the English Premiership. Indeed, from the halfway line forwards there are few teams that can compare with Arsenal in Europe.
This season is just too big for Arsenal. A trophy has to be won. This is a minimum requirement; not second place or a close shave.
This is why van Persie should be sold. He has to come out in the next week and say if he really wants to stay at Arsenal. If not, get that money in the coffers or sign one more player, hopefully in defense, who can improve the team. Song has to go as well. If it is indeed true that he has been flipped by interest from Barcelona, then there is no need for him. Arsenal needs soldiers this season. Fully committed, fully concentrated.
The only worry is still that back five which is, in my opinion, one of the least reliable defensive units in the whole league. Bacary Sagna apart, there is no defender to trust there. Ignasi Miquel could be described as Arsenal’s best defender. There is no doubt Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Song’s natural talent, actually would make amazing attacking players, but as defenders they are still to convince me.
With all that said, it is my belief that Arsenal is two players away from being on par with the very best teams in Europe: the Barcelonas, Madrids and Bayerns. A keeper and a centreback. Whatever happens in the remainder of this transfer window, this is a crucial season for Arsenal. A trophy has to come. Or else the club will forever bleed players.
Image Courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald